This week social media / tech site Mashable reported that the number of Internet Explorer 6 users has now dropped to under 5%. Their article aptly said IE6 is “finally nearing extinction.” Note the key words here though: finally… nearing…
The source of the data comes from StatCounter, which analyzed 15 billion page views (of which 3.8 billion came from the US) to determine the percentages. While the total US views isn’t much compared to overall views throughout a year, the reports are likely indicative of reality.
When it comes to ecommerce, 5% isn’t so small a number. After all, that’s 5 out of 100 visitors, 50 out of 1,000 and 500 out of 10,000. Of course, if you’re not going over-tech on your online store, you can still comfortably cater to those users until we see the numbers drop even further. Keep in mind, however, that five percent is actually higher than the typical conversion rate of a small business store.
While IE8 is the latest version of Microsoft’s ever-popular “default” browser (it’s the most-used browser, accounting for 30.5% of page views), use of IE7 is lingering around 16%.
There is more to consider, though, such as your target audience. Many online stores rely on overseas sales, so it’s worthwhile to note that IE8 is still very new in Asia. According to StatCounter, IE6 accounts for nearly 20% of page loads over there.
This is another prime example of how ecommerce is affected in vastly different ways than traditional, informational web sites. It proves, once again, that online stores need to focus on a broader audience, especially when it comes to adoption of newer technologies.